Picture of a stopwatch for an article How Long Does a Game of Pickleball Take?

How Long Does a Game of Pickleball Take?

Pickleball is a fun and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels. And one question many newcomers ask when they take up the game is “How long does a game of pickleball take?”

Are you ready to get your first taste of pickleball but you find yourself wondering that very question? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this blog post, I’ll explain everything about how long a typical pickleball game lasts, tips for shortening games, and ways to have more fun when playing – so don’t go anywhere!

Typical Pickleball Game Length

An average pickleball game lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the skill level of the players among other factors.

Generally speaking, in beginner pickleball games you’ll see a lot more defensive shots being played – resulting in lengthy rallies and ultimately long pickleball games. Whereas more experienced players tend to be able to attack the ball more effectively and end rallies quicker.

Of course, some people like to take their time and enjoy the game while they play – whereas others want to move quickly through each point which

Recreational games tend to be very casual instead of competitive, which typically results in longer games. You end up taking a lot more breaks and chatting between points.

What is Pickleball and How Do You Play?

Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. It is typically played with two teams of 2 to 4 players, with a plastic ball, and each player has a pickleball paddle.

If you need help finding a pickleball paddle, check out my other post on the best pickleball paddles on the market!

A pickleball game is played on a court that’s smaller than a traditional tennis court – usually just 20 feet by 44 feet in size. A pickleball court is the same size as a double badminton court.

You score points when the ball lands on your opponent’s side of the court and they are unable to return it or if they hit it out of bounds. The first team to reach 11 points wins the game. Each game must be won by two points.

In traditional scoring, a team scores a point only when they win a rally and they were the serving team. But, in rally scoring all you have to do is win the rally to score a point.

A single game isn’t your only optio. Competitive games are often played as part of a pickleball match. Pickleball matches are made up of three games. A team needs to win two games to win a pickleball match.

Factors That Affect the Length of the Game

Several factors can affect how long a pickleball game lasts. Let’s take a look at some of them below.

Skill level of players

The skill level of the players will affect how long a game lasts. More skilled players can attack the ball more effectively and get points over quickly – whereas beginner players might take longer to figure out the best shots to play and end up playing a more defensive game.

Evenly matched games could go on for quite a while since you typically need to win by two points.

Number of players

It’s not always the case, but the number of pickleball players can be a game length factor. When it comes to singles play, if both players are at a beginner skill level, it could result in a longer game.

On the other hand, singles play between competitive players could result in some quick games. It ends up being a lot of offensive play who so much court to cover defensively.

Doubles games mean a lot more of the pickleball court is covered by the teams playing. That makes it a little harder to find an open spot on your opponents’ court, which could mean a slightly longer game.

Playing style (defensive/offensive)

A player’s playing style can affect the game length as well. If a player is more of an offensive player, they might be able to score points quickly, resulting in shorter games.

On the other hand, a defensive player will usually take longer to figure out their attack shots and end rallies – which can result in longer games.

Type of scoring system used (traditional or rally)

The type of scoring system used also affects the length of a pickleball game. In traditional scoring, games usually take longer because each team can only score a point when they are serving.

In rally scoring, all you have to do is win the rally in order to score a point – so a pickleball game can be over much faster.

Breaks Taken During the Game

The frequency and length of breaks taken during the game can affect its duration. If players take a lot of breaks between points or games, it will definitely add to the overall time it takes to finish the game.

Weather conditions

The weather can also affect the length of a pickleball game. If it’s too hot or windy, players may need to take more breaks, thereby making the game last longer than normal.

Strategies for a Shorter Pickleball Game

If you’re looking to speed up the duration of your pickleball games, here are some useful strategies you can use:

  • Play pickleball with an offensive mindset – attack the ball early and often so that rallies don’t last too long.
  • Take shorter breaks between points/games – this will help keep the momentum going and prevent you from getting too relaxed or comfortable during a pickleball game.
  • Play pickleball with rally scoring instead of traditional scoring – this will make it easier to score points quickly and end games faster.
  • Make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to playing style and skill level so that games move along smoothly without any prolonged lulls or stops in play

Ways to Make Pickleball More Fun

Here are some ideas on how to make your pickleball games more fun!

  • Play with friends: Playing pickleball with friends can make the game more enjoyable and social. It also allows for friendly competition and the opportunity to improve together.
  • Try different game formats: Switching up the game format can add variety to your pickleball play. Experiment with singles, doubles, round-robin tournaments, or other fun game variations. Tired of outdoor play because the weather is too extreme? Why not try indoor play?
  • Listen to music: Listening to music when playing pickleball can help create a more upbeat and lively atmosphere on the court. Or it might help you get in the zone and focus on your game.
  • Organize social events: Organizing social events such as potlucks or barbecues can create a sense of community among players. It can also be an opportunity to meet new players and bond over a shared interest in pickleball.
  • Tournament play: When you’re ready to move past the beginner level of play, why not lookup local pickleball tournaments in your area?
  • Join a league or club: Joining a local pickleball league or club can provide regular opportunities to play with other players and compete in a structured environment.
  • Use colorful equipment: Using brightly colored paddles or balls can make the game more visually appealing and add an element of fun to the game. If you’re looking for a stylish pickleball paddle then check out Recess Pickleball!
  • Incorporate trick shots: Adding trick shots to your game can make it more exciting and challenging. Try adding spins, lobs, or other creative shots to your gameplay.

By incorporating these ideas into your pickleball play, you can make the game more fun and enjoyable while also improving your skills and connecting with other players.


Pickleball is an exciting game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. The length of a pickleball game can vary based on several factors, such as the type of scoring system used, breaks taken during the game, and weather conditions.

To shorten the duration of your games, you can employ strategies such as playing with an offensive mindset, taking shorter breaks between points/games, and using rally scoring instead of traditional scoring.

Additionally, there are also ways to make pickleball even more fun for everyone playing – like playing with friends or trying different game formats – which will not only add variety but also create a sense of community among players.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post! If you’re just getting into pickleball, then check another of my posts about the official pickleball rules!

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